India’s Legendry Kathak Dance Artist Birju Maharaj Dies

People from different walks of life including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed sorrow and grief over death of the artist.

NEW DELHI:(UrduPoint/UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News-Jan 18th, 2022) Birju Maharaj, legend of Kathak dance, passed away on Monday. He was 83.

Ragini Maharaj, the daughter of Birju Maharaj, confirmed demise of her father. She said that her father was suffering from kidney ailment and was undergoing dialysis. She expressed these words while talking to the reporters on Monday.

She said that possibility was that he had died of cardiac arrest.

Birju Maharaj who was known as Maharaj-ji by his fans was an iconic artist of Kathak form of classical dance. He was a recipient of Padma Vibhushan award which is India’s second highest civilian award.

He was born into a family of renowned Kathak dancers. He received training from his uncles and father Acchan Maharaj before his first performance at the age of 7.

Kathak dance uses dance and facial expressions to help tell a story, with many dance pieces inspired by ancient Indian epics.

Maharaj was known for his animated facial expressions and light-footed movements, accompanied by the sound of bells he wore around his ankles.

He would often draw inspiration from his own life in his performances and was a skillful storyteller.

He was also an acclaimed teacher of kathak and taught students at some of the country’s most premier dance institutions. In the late 1990s, Maharaj opened his own dance school, Kalashram, in the capital New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply saddened” and that his death was an “irreparable loss to the entire art world,” in a tweet.

“Very few artists have been equally good as performers and as teachers. Maharaj ji certainly scaled new heights in both roles,” Indian classical dancer Geeta Chandran posted on Facebook. “His contribution to the world of dance is indeed historic, and will certainly be carried forward by his absolutely amazing tribe of disciples and students.”

“We have lost an unparalleled institution in the field of performing arts. He has influenced many generations through his genius,” singer Adnan Sami said.

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